Symantec’s Veritas FileStore is a new clustered file system aimed at enterprises building public or private storage clouds.

FileStore is comprised of software-based appliances that run on commodity x86 server nodes and talk to clients using CIFS, FTP, HTTP or NFS. On the back-end, the FileStore nodes aggregate existing Fibre Channel and iSCSI SANs and JBODs as a shared storage pool. A FileStore system can scale up to 16 nodes and 2PB of total capacity.

The secret sauce that may separate FileStore from the rest of the cloud crowd is its integration with Symantec’s existing data protection and security products. End users can dedicate FileStore nodes to run integrated versions of several Symantec applications, including backup and archiving products such as NetBackup and Enterprise Vault. FileStore also runs Symantec Dynamic Storage Tiering and Endpoint Protection for data movement and security.

Users can start small with FileStore deployments. Symantec recommends a minimum configuration of two FileStore nodes for high availability, but a base setup can be deployed with a single node. Symantec prices FileStore nodes on a per-processor basis, with a starting price of $6,995 for two nodes and two CPU sockets.

Symantec has put its money where its mouth is. The company is currently using FileStore to manage its own cloud services, with more than 40PB of online storage for more than 9 million users. Symantec runs Veritas Storage Foundation for Windows and Veritas Cluster Server on top of FileStore to manage the environment.

FileStore is the first step in Symantec’s cloud storage roadmap. Sean Derrington, director of storage management and high availability, says Symantec is already working on an object-based file system as a follow-on to FileStore. The object-based system, codenamed “S4,” is expected to scale to massive capacities with a multi-tenant infrastructure using commodity hardware.